I’m Back!

posted by Andrea | 08/1/2012

I’m back from my 2-week blogging break… and I’m honestly ready to be back again.

Did you miss me? 

I hope you’re ready for lots of new organizing ideas, lots of slow cooker recipes, lots of kitchen renovation stories, and LOTS of cute Nora pictures, because I’m ready to start blogging again… but first, I want to share a few pictures from my sister’s wedding a couple weeks ago.

Her photographer {MarahGrant.com} did a fabulous job.

You’d never guess it was raining through most of these pictures, would you?

OK, back to my fabulous blogging break.

It was just that… fabulous. And I’m definitely planning to take another one next summer, if not before!

Although the two weeks went by so quickly, the change of pace was refreshing; and the lack of a work schedule was just what I needed.

I’m so thankful for all the positive feedback I got when I announced my two-week break — from family, friends, readers, and even from other bloggers.

And yes, Nora was happy I took a break too :)

So what did I do during my break?

To be perfectly honest… I didn’t do a whole lot {which, I suppose, is the point of a break}

I slept in every day — well, Dave and I took turns sleeping in — but it was still fabulous. We went swimming almost every day, went for walks when it wasn’t too hot, watched a bunch of Olympics, ate a healthy amount of ice-cream, and took lots of pictures.

I even took a couple naps with Nora {she forced me to!}

We did do quite a bit of behind-the-scenes work on our kitchen, but it all had to be done.

We finalized our cabinet design and ordered the cabinets. We purchased all our appliances, ordered our farmhouse sink, ordered the windows, and scheduled the arrival of the wood flooring. I’m also in the process of designing a replica antique pie safe that my uncle will build for a corner of the kitchen.

I’m planning to talk more about our kitchen {and show pictures} next week, but within the next few weeks, we SHOULD be finished with the electrical, windows, drywall, and flooring. Then the cabinets and appliances arrive in 3 weeks. So we’re hopefully still on-track to wrap up our renovations by Labor Day weekend.

Of course there will still be tons of loose ends to tie up throughout the fall, but our kitchen should be usable by the beginning of the school year {praise the Lord!}, and it should be fully functional in plenty of time for holiday baking.

Is it crazy that I’m already thinking about the holidays?


I’ll also admit to working {somewhat feverishly} to get back up-to-date on my digital photo albums.

I’ve been using Blurb.com for several years now to create all my digital photos albums — and yes, I still LOVE it!

Two years ago, I finished organizing and scanning all of Dave’s and my photos from birth through 2010 into 4 albums. Then, these past two weeks, I spent several hours creating a 5th book for 2011-2012. Of course, I won’t be ready to print it until the end of 2012, but I think I took more pictures in the last 12-18 months than I did in the 10 years prior!

It feels so great to be all caught up again, and my plan from here on out is to update the book at the end of every month. Then, after I print this book, I’ll create one new book every year.

Besides the kitchen stuff, my photo book was the ONE thing I wanted to accomplish during my break, so I’m thrilled {yeah, I think I always have to have a project!}

Thanks so much for hanging in there with me while I took a little break…

I’m excited to be back!

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Filed under: Daily LifeLife



  1. Leslie


    You and your sisters — and Nora — are beautiful! What wonderful family pictures!

    I am so glad that you enjoyed your break, and feel refreshed…Good investment!


  2. Stacy


    I love your blog and have been a reader for awhile. I love how you scanned all your pics and Dave’s pics and the pics of you together to make a book. I have a silly question, because I think it’s a great idea, but then what do you do with the original pictures?


    Andrea Reply:

    Stacy… not a silly question. I actually did purge most of the hard copies (which I realize might be shocking to some). I gave all my baby pictures back to my mom, and I kept a handful of my FAVORITES, but I pitched the rest.

    I figured that I already have the photos in my albums, plus the albums are saved online (so I can reprint them any time), PLUS all my pictures are saved digitally by month/year on a portable hard drive in our fire-proof safe. I also have all the pictures from the last few years on Flickr — so I can access and re-print any of my pictures at a moment’s notice.

    Hope this helps!


  3. hyoori


    welcome back, Andrea!


  4. Jill


    Are those books in hard cover?


    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, they are hardcover… but you can get softcover too. I always order the 8.5″ x 11″ hardcover because they look nice on our shelves and are very durable!


  5. Angela Hidlebaugh


    welcome back, Andrea!!

    I have a question about how you arrange the inside of your albums. Are there just pictures, pictures with names and dates, any journaling (like memories, family stories…that sort of thing)??? Thanks for sharing how you handle your scrapbooking. It’s nice to have new ideas to organize and streamline the photo preservation.


    Andrea Reply:

    Hey Angela,
    I don’t really have a set way that I do it, but with Blurb, you can choose from tons of different layouts (or create your own layout). I don’t usually include a lot of text — more just “headings” and dates… but you can include as much text as you want.

    Right now, I just divide up the book by month and put as many pictures in as I can!


  6. Jean


    Welcome Back !!

    I love your sister’s wedding colors ! So pretty !

    Nora looks so adorable, thanks for sharing your daughter’s pictures with us. It takes me back to the days when my daughters were that age (now 14 and 12). The pic where she is sleeping you can almost see the pool of drool because she is sleeping so soundly ! ~*sweet*~


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